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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Woodbridge in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Belmont Bay ~ End of the Water

 
 
Belmont Bay ~ End of the Water Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., February 29, 2008
1. Belmont Bay ~ End of the Water Marker
Inscription. Occoquan Creek flows in front of you. Occoquan is an American Indian word meaning at the end of the water. The Dogue Indians may have named this creek. They lived in the area for centuries before European exploration and were part of the Alqonquin nation.

The Dogues’ main village of Tauxenent was located near the Occoquan, most likely on Mason Neck directly across Occoquan Creek from this location. Dogue people called that land Myampses. Early colonial land patents refer to it as Dogg’s Island.

First Contact

Englishmen established Jamestown in May, 1607. As their relations with the local Powhatan people became hostile, they explored further inland. In June, 1608 John Smith led an expedition up the Potomac and found the Dogues’ king’s howse. As many as 175 people occupied this village, which Smith referred to as Tauxenent. Smith’s men met the “Toags” who “…did their best to content us.”*   Dogue society was complex and long established. Dogues lived in communal longhouses. They hunted, fished, ate seasonal foods and grew numerous crops. These crops included corn and native tobacco, which the Dogues taught English settlers to cultivate.

As more English colonists arrived in Virginia, tension between the colonists and the Indian people
Belmont Bay ~ End of the Water Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., February 29, 2008
2. Belmont Bay ~ End of the Water Marker
"Occoquan Creek flows in front of you."
increased. By the mid-1600s, Europeans began to settle in what became Prince William County. Most Dogue Indians left their homes on the Potomac River and the Occoquan Creek and moved inland.

* From Captain John Smith’s History of Virginia, David Freeman Hawke, ed., the Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., Indianapolis & New York, 1970.
 
Erected 2007 by Prince William County.
 
Location. 38° 39.405′ N, 77° 14.051′ W. Marker is in Woodbridge, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker can be reached from Harbor Side Street near Custis Street. Click for map. Marker is on a walking path, near the river. Marker is in this post office area: Woodbridge VA 22191, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Early Land Patents (approx. 0.8 miles away); Occoquan (approx. 0.8 miles away); The First Courthouse of Prince William County (approx. 0.8 miles away); Fairfax County / Prince William County (approx. 0.8 miles away); Colchester (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Beehive Brick Kiln (approx. 2 miles away); Women Suffrage Prisoners at Occoquan Workhouse (approx. 2 miles away); Delaying Tactics (approx. 2.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Woodbridge.
 
More about this marker.
Belmont Bay ~ End of the Water Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., February 29, 2008
3. Belmont Bay ~ End of the Water Marker
Occoquan Creek flows into Belmont Bay, behind the marker in this picture.
In the top center of the marker is "John Smith’s Virginia map, originally published in London in 1612. Smith identified waterways such as the Patawomeck flu (Potomac River, highlighted in blue) and Indian settlements, including the Dogues’ Tauxenent (highlighted in red). This map remained the most influential map of Virginia until the last quarter of the 17th century. Many place names used by Smith are still used today."

The map was provided "Courtesy of the Library of Congress."
 
Categories. Colonial EraSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Soapstone Effigy closeup image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., February 29, 2008
4. Soapstone Effigy closeup
This soapstone effigy appears to be the head of an otter, beaver or raccoon. It is attributed to the Dogue Indians. Archaeologists recovered it from the Hartwell Site on Mason Neck (Fairfax County) in the early 1990s.
Courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority
<i>Their manner of fishynge in Virginia</i> image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., February 29, 2008
5. Their manner of fishynge in Virginia
John White (born c. 1540) was on the first English voyage to American in 1584. His drawing, Their manner of fishynge in Virginia shows people using spears, nets and weirs.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,372 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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